Muggs Fogarty tackles not only the subject of sex, but all the complications and emotions that come with it in their book Sex Camel. With only 10 poems, Fogarty takes readers through the notions of their experience; exploring how multilayered sex can be, showing that it’s more than just doing it. Fogarty paints a picture of the before, the during and the after — and all the thoughts that accompany those moments.
“What’s the desert? Slow-drip-time./The swipe right. Pillow-talk-texts for months/ and months, sore thumbed, untouched.” This felt like something I could have written. I, too, have fallen victim to the countless hours of Tinder’s swipe right.
A sexual dry spell is something many of us encounter, yet refrain from speaking about as a way to conserve dignity. Yet Fogarty’s way of speaking of this scarcity feels like a sort of solidarity — as if this poem is a conversation between two friends.
“Anyway/ a sex camel is someone who can go a long time without having sex.”
Fogarty is honest about their relationship with sex and its ever changing definition, often dependent on conditions of life.
“Often when I’m looking to feel better I end up on my back –– Even when I don’t pay for it I pay for it. Anything can be a desert if that’s where you’re at”
This whole book feels like a confession. Some pages read like whispering: soft, quiet and tender. Like the story being told is still raw and being processed.
“I think there is no such thing but/time is the mistress of forgetting.”
These poems feel like words that Fogarty needed to say to themself. Things we all might need to say to ourselves. The book’s touch is a healing that many of us didn’t know we needed. Fogarty communicates with integrity their relationships with some of the most vulnerable aspects of living. Sex Camel is not about sex, but about life — the catastrophes, the beautiful little moments and the times of ailing and how sometimes they can all lead you.
Sex Camel is available at Ada Books, Riffraff or online at gameoverbooks.com. You can listen to the latest track by Fogarty’s Sweetpea Pumpkin, ‘Scorpion Tape #3’, online on bandcamp and the newest EP, ‘Mirage’, by LOOKERS on Youtube and Spotify.